There is no freedom in being a shortsighted nomad plundering for survival, according to Zarathushtra (his idea of nomadism is almost the opposite of Gilles Deleuze's concept of nomadism).
It is precisely THROUGH a functioning collective organisation that Man can be free to build the aesthetic life. Think Foucault instead of Deleuze.
So while Zarathushtra refuses to see body and soul as opposites (the soul being an attribute of the body and not separate from or in opposition to the body) he also refuses to see a dualism between individualism and collectivism (which is a European 17th century idea, when The Bourgeoisie invented Liberalism as a new vocabulary in opposition to The Monarch and The Church). It is through an ethical collectivism that individuals are set free to act aesthetically. This is what Civilisation is!
2009/10/11 Special Kain
I agree 90%!
But when reading the Gathas there's no talk about individualism as promoted through such an exclusively aesthetic take on existence. It's rather civilizationist ethics: a desire to tame and be tamed in order to build, manage and expand increasingly complex communities based on truthfulness and righteousness that will prevail and outpace communities where the members would promote deceit, falseness, death and destruction.
Such an uncompromisingly collectivist take on mankind's existence doesn't allow for one's personal immortality as a separate unity interacting with other separate unities and thus composing larger bodies such as communities and societies. Any community adhering to civilizationist ethics will automatically prevail and enjoy a much longer life and much richer diversity than other communities. It's a drive towards increasingly complex, inclusive and encompassing non-zero-sum games that would benefit all players and parties involved.
But selfish deeds provoke selfish reactions - selfishness is highly contagious.
It's a beautiful thought indeed, but Zarathushtra was also naive to a certain extent. Which shouldn't surprise us, since he couldn't check back with sociological, psychological, economic and/or political studies!
Ushta, Dino // currently reading Bard & Söderqvist's "The Global Empire" which definitely inspired this posting
--- Alexander Bard
Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] The Attitude of Amordad
Datum: Sonntag, 11. Oktober 2009, 4:54
Dear Rory and Parviz
Parviz caught this issue spot on!!!
What Parviz realises is that the term "amordad" like all Zoroastrian concepts must be seen as an attitudal guide and not as some silly metaphysical reward (we have none, we DO NOT NEED rewards to act, we act out of our willingness to become something desirable, not to be rewarded, which is precisely what makes us ethical rather than moral beings).
This is precisely the difference between Zoroastrianism and the Abrahamic faiths. Ethics as opposed to moralism.
The term "amordad" is therefore an ATTITUDE. To defy death, to bring forth that which has life in it, to empower existence, is an ETHICAL quality, something which we "desire to be" and NOT "desire to get". It is consequently NOT a phenomenon to be rewarded to passive followers of a Father Figure-God in return for their obedience. This is why the translation "immortality" is so unfortunate, even outright wrong.
Because what Zoroastrians believe is NOT that there is an "immortality" waiting for us as a reward for following some Ten Commandments (we have none, remember?) but rather that nurturing an ATTITUDE which is pro creativity, which defies death, is what is ETHICALLY BEAUTIFUL and what ultimately gives our limited existence its meaning, which gives it "transcendence". Zoroastrianism is about ethics and aesthetics (or rather an aesthetic ethic), to live life as a work of art! Nothing more and nothing less. Just forget about scoring points in a heaven, once and for all.
Once again, the project of Mazdayasna we have undertaken is not the project of cleansing it from its rich variety of ideas but cleansing it from all this Abrahamic junk people constantly try to force on us.
"Defying death in your thoughts, words and deeds" is what amordad means. As you can tell, this has little or nothing to do with "immortality". Rather it is its opposite!